What Knox does well
There were plenty of positives in Knox’s play during his rookie year, especially in his ability to makes big plays after the catch.
One secret weapon that Knox displayed during his 2019 season was his ability to use his exceptional stiff arm, used multiple times during the season and was very effective. This stiff arm against the Cowboys was nasty:
Being one of the best tight ends on plays over 20 plus yards, with only 28 receptions, the amount of big plays Knox created was exceptional for his usage. Pro Football Focus ranked him tied for third among tight ends last year with 160 yards on receptions 20+ yards downfield among tight ends
Waller of the Raiders had 90 receptions for 1145 yards which crush Knox’s numbers, yet the rookie in Buffalo tied Waller in yards gained on catches over 20 yards, which is crazy to think about. Dawson Knox’s yards on receptions over 20 yards accounted for 41.2% of his total yards gained from the 2019 season, which surpasses all the tight ends on the list above by a noticeable amount.
It seemed at times that Knox would come up with the tough catches and would have a tendency to drop the easy ones, his drops could be due to lack of urgency on those easy passes thrown his way.
The Bills tight end is great as a vertical threat as shown by the numbers, and has plays in which he simply out runs some defenders to get open:
With more targets next season, Knox should be able to create more plays over 20 yards with an expanded role in the offense and could seemingly solidify himself as one of the best deep threats in the NFL at the tight end position.
One surprising revelation for Knox in his rookie season was his ability to block, he had tons of great moments as an inline blocker and also as one in space. Shown below the rookie doesn’t allow the Giants defensive back a chance at Isaiah McKenzie and the Bills receiver walks into the end zone for the score:
With his ability to block, the Buffalo Bills can now line him up on the line or flex him out wide and take advantage of his athleticism against linebackers and safeties.
Making some really nice plays in the run blocking game, at times Knox was able to make defenders lose contain and allow either Singletary or even Allen bounce runs to the outside.
PFF also gave Knox a 70.6 run blocking grade, which ranked seventh among all tight ends. Even the big outlets have rewarded the talented tight end for his ability to block.
The young tight ends ability to get vertical in the passing game and block for the run is already enough to make him a good tight ends, Knox does a lot of things well for a tight end.